Every week, Simon Elstow – head of training at driver trainer specialist IAM Drive & Survive – dispatches his top tips for safe and sound motoring.
I don't think I've ever seen a better titled dispatch than that which adorned this week's release: “Darkness Descends”.
Poetic. Foreboding. Dark, dark, darkness.
This weekend sees the end of British Summer Time as the clocks are put back by an hour. The result is earlier darkness; and with earlier darkness comes more hazardous driving.
Says Simon:“The risk of fatal accidents increases in the dark as visibility is reduced. Have regular eye examinations to ensure you are wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need to.”
So, without further ado, here are Simon's 7 Top Tips for safe darkness driving:
1. To improve your view as far as possible, keep your lights and windscreen clean.
2. Use main beam, but when other drivers are approaching make sure you dip your lights to avoid dazzling the oncoming traffic.
3. Make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.
4. If you’re feeling tired, caffeine alone is not a fix. Take a break and have a 20 minute nap.
5. If an approaching car forgets to dip its lights, look beyond the lights, but to their left to avoid being dazzled as much.
6. Look at how the traffic ahead behaves for clues to possible problems you can’t see yet.
7. If it’s gloomy in the morning, don’t forget to put your lights on.